The online world not only stretches us a new kind of apartment to work, but we also get thousands of possible “rooms” in which to chat about anything, anywhere, anytime. It’s a room without the boundaries of walls or time, yet there are rules and boundaries of better behavior to be observed.
There are myriad stories of people finding long-lost relatives, loves, friends, even romance one of my friends married a chat room friend! of seniors whose frailties keep them homebound, of those who stay in touch with a grandchild or find a community online, of those suffering from similar symptoms, or those who find the online support group or just pals. For the record, the largest growing segment of the online world is senior citizens. Chat rooms can and do create a community a virtual one.
Anonymity is a feature of the online world where only e-mail handles are used. Hiding behind a name, pseudonym, if you will, runs counter to the concept of heartfelt conversation by using telegram groups. It’s difficult enough that we hear no tone, no inflections, facial expressions, but we now have no idea with whom we are really chatting. But, once we discover other Trekkies, classical jazz fans, fellow meeting planners, mountain bikers, grandparents concerned about education, people who are caring for elderly parents, the shared support and information is nirvana. In the cyber “room to work,” we must be both technically and socially adept to manage our professional and personal success in the 21st Century.
Recent research out of Stanford University is that time spent on the Internet is causing Americans to “spend less time with friends and family,” according to Norman Nie, a political scientisttelegram groups. Yet, we still have to know how to work in virtual rooms as well as how often.
Instant Message Madness
When we “work” the virtual room or are logged on, we can learn if our “buddies” are online, too. We can say hello and have a side-bar chat that resembles a real conversation except there is nothing visual or auditory to act as clues.